Archive for February, 2010


After months of worry, speculation, and itchy-sweaty-blotchy rashes, I got the word yesterday from Smilin’ Joel that I can ride the Dirty Kanza 200 this June.

A mixed blessing (fun yet painful) but I am looking forward to seeing their course and witnessing the madness of what will be my second giant gravel grinder field of the year.  The Almanzo 100 in May has more than 400 people registered, for a mass start event.  I asked the promoter if it would start in waves, not joking, and did not hear back, so I am just going to bring my hockey pads along and enjoy the show.  Dirty Kanza is looking more managable in the 150 – 200 rider range, depending on no shows and extra shows, and that is still a monster field.  I have done some paved style road races with closed roads in fields that big and it was sketchy enough, so these events should be interesting, at least the first 10 miles!


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Seven Years on the Net

In years past I have had good photos to explain our trip to Minneapolis and Frostbike.

This year I have only a picture of a Twin City turkey.  Not that nothing else was noteworthy, indeed, there was so much good stuff I spent my time taking it in and talking to the makers and leaving the photos to the rest of the bloggers up there.

This was our first time up there as bike shop owners, and as such we had some different goals.  We sat through a full day of seminars on Friday, learning about inventory management and supply chain and cash flow with an hour of bike shop bike advocacy for a break.  Then we drank some free beer in a room full of Lazer helmets and Ridleys, one all decked in the World Champ Rainbows and autographed to QBP from Stybar himself.

Saturday was more typical trade show, talking with vendors and seeing what is new.  Shimano is taking their electric shifting technology and going to work on brakes – believe it or not?  Salsa has some cool racks coming, pdw took my 15mm/demitasse idea seriously, and the folks at Pacific Outdoor had some super cool waterproof and lightweight bikepacking panniers.  The Tour Divide just keeps on calling…

Speaking of which, there is a new race going down this Summer, the Trans Wisconsin is 550 miles of gravel, fireroad, 4 wheeler trail and even a bit of singletrack.  I am not going to push it and try and do the race, which is mid summer, but I did run the idea by Ira and he and I are going to try and go ride the route together in the fall.  That would be dreamy.

I got out for another ride on the Ira today, 1.5 hours worth, and it did not feel quite as good as my last outing, so I am going to have to get out the tape measure and level and see what is what on there.  I got to talk to another happy Ira owner at Frostbike, Ari.  We covered a lot of ground, talking shop and riding and all that.  Always nice to see Ari, he is gearing up for a Trans Iowa attempt, poor guy, but he seems happy so I didn’t hassle him about it.  Too much…

Another ski tt tomorrow night at Ashton, and then, if the snow holds, the herkabeiner on Sunday.  8 laps of Ashton for 24k.  Check the blog for details if you are interested, and I hope you are.

So, to sum up, a good weekend.  Thanks to Mark & Wendy for hosting us!

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What Goes Around…

Tragedy struck on this mornings townie training session!

Broken rim, super-sucky. So now I get to build another wheel, which is good, but this has been my go to trainer during the weekdays, so looks like the Bridgestone is going to get the call up until the slop subsides or the new wheel is built.

Please observe the above line of silence to honor my singlespeed wheel, which gave so much, and selflessly carried me for so long!

I snapped this “non-offensive” frosty facial hair reflection as I arrived at the shop the other day after another long and cold ride to work.

Actually, the townie has not been getting as much attention the last couple of days.  Since the rest week is over and the snow has dumped on us again I have taken up skiing again.

I skated 4 laps Sunday morning, and it showed that I had not skied in 4 weeks.  Then, to celebrate the stupidity of stupid, I went out and skied classic Monday morning.  Hard (for me) & far (for me) effort of 20k (no rounding), in about 2 hours.  I am really sore today, but glad I got out.  Someday I am going to get a set of racy classic skis and see what happens.  But not this year…

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Snowshoes is Good Shoes

Boy has my blog ever become unpopular.  Don’t feel bad, you are reading this, so you are here, and I thank you for browsing by.  I just get a bit lonely out here in cyberspace sometimes.  All I can do is keep blogging as best I can, with regularity, and try and say the most outlandish and inflammatory shit I can come up with.  So here goes!  Our nation’s 2 party system is a joke, they can keep talking about putting aside partisan politics but a 2 party system is not equipped with what is necessary to break gridlock.  Like a third party.  One against one goes nowhere, just the potential of two against one will lead to real compromise.  DUH!  I think five parties would be ideal, for this country, but I will settle for a strong three, right now.  And, since I am angry, I will also declare that there should be a maximum age for public office.  GET OUT, OLD WHITE MEN -AND GO AHEAD AND LET THE DOOR HIT YOU IN THE ASS, I DON’T CARE, JUST LIKE YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT ANYONE BUT YOURSELF AND YOUR RICH DONOR ASSHOLE FRIENDS!!!!!

Whew!  I feel better now.  So we got another heaping helping of snow the last couple of days.  It all started when I was riding my Ira Ryan on Sunday, have you heard that news?  It was pretty awesome.  It kept right on snowing through mid day today.  I am in the midst of a little rest, as I had three solid weeks of riding and was feeling a bit tired, but this morning I could not resist a Hickory Hill snowshoe outing.

I took the MSR’s, in anticipation of solid substrate and unstable midstrate combining with, uhh, powdery superstrate which can be quite, uhhh, unstable…

Got off the beaten track and went by the creepy Blair Witch tipi thing.

Someone redecorated the area with some paintings.

Once I saw the tv painting I got the hell out of there, what kind of sick person would paint a portrait of a tv and hang it on a tree?

Out in the open then, and the snow was mighty fine.

As always, it can seem quite remote if you don’t turn your head to see the school or the houses visible from here.

Saw some deer in the woods, do you see them?

It was a great trek, an hour and ten minutes, and I only was on the official Hickory Hill trails a few times, for less than a quarter mile, I would guess.

Vote Green Party!  Or any party, as long as it is not the elephant or the ass…

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Ira Ryan Ride

So, yeah, the build up of the Ira Ryan frameset that my good friend Ira Ryan built for me has been slow going.  I don’t much like bringing it up again, except it is finally done, and it did not even take a full year!  A complete bike, except the left sti no longer seems to work, and the seatpost and stem and brake hanger will be silver, but those are just small problems.  Today I took it out for the first official ride, and to accommodate the faulty sti and honor the legacy of Mike Walden I kept it in the little ring.

I remember long ago Bicycling Magazine did a 2 or 3 month feature about Mike Walden and the Wolverine Sports Club.  I was a young and impressionable youth and some of what I read still bangs around in my head sometimes.  Like do your first 1,000 miles every year in the little ring.  And chew your food up.  Really, put your fork down between bites and chew that food up, proper digestion starts in your mouth!

Back to the Ira, I rode it today!  I did a couple of rides the last few days on the bike, just around the block and back and forth from the house to the shop so I could check out the position.  I flipped the stem, lowered the saddle half a centimeter and it all feels good.  Today I rode four hours on it.  I can not say with any degree of confidence that it disappeared underneath me or was compliantly this or stiffly that or that it helped me feel the road or any of that.  The rear tire had a slow leak – fact.  But it felt good to ride it, it felt smooth and looked great and we even bombed a couple of corners and it felt very stable.

I was suprised when it started to snow on me, but it seemed appropriate, actually, and the MK  Wood Fenders kept the spray off with style.  A great first ride on the new bike, the only thing that would have made it better was if Ira could have been along for the ride.  Ah well, I have no doubt it will happen someday, thanks for the bike Ira, hearts to you buddy!

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Riding is Rolling

This Friday will mark 3 weeks since my first chamois short ride of 2010 and things are going well!  Townie miles continue to stack up, wildlife to be seen.  This past weekend I got out for a quick 1.5 hour stroll on Saturday afternoon, a 4.5 leg burner on Sunday and at 2.5 hour cruise on Monday morning.  Some weeks last year that would match or even eclipse my weekly total…  So the best thing about it all is that I am feeling mentally fresh and excited about the year ahead.  We are planning to try something different at 30th Century Bicycle this year and be closed on Sundays, so I am hoping to hit some of the Sunday heavy Iowa mountain bike series.  I did a couple of events a few years ago and had a good time, so I hope to get to a few this year.  Might motivate me to finally get that Niner?  We will see…

This morning I did my trainer workout while watching the 1989 Tour.  It is always fun to watch that race because it was when I first was starting to race so them guys were my idols!  Funny to think that now I can watch even Cyclocross Worlds live over the internet, but back then all I knew to do was wait a month until the giant format TdF magazine came out to see what had happened.  Few helmets, steel frames, some toe clips still out there, even back to back 150 mile stages!

Just 3 more trainer rides on the schedule Coach put together for me this year, wonder what else I might watch?

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